Photo: Elyse Hall Photography

I am back at it again! For those who don’t know this is part of a series of posts I am doing for my wonderful wife Kelsey while she is helping take care of our newborn child. She isn’t sleeping much, which is probably the only reason I get to keep doing this. I want to emphasize again these are just some ways to get creative without scaling back your vision. Obviously, the goal would be to reduce cost and maintain the same level of goods or service. In truth, this is nearly impossible, but we may be able to identify some areas we can scale back the service without compromising the joy you and your guests will experience at your wedding.

I also want to state that if you are using some sites like Wedding Wire as a guide to your costs, it is a terrible measure on the average costs. The site has a horrendous reputation within the wedding industry in regards to its honesty with the vendors who list on there, as well as with the data they collect from their vendors. If you ask an industry professional about wedding wire, chances are they are going to have some negative things to say(unless they work for them, which is not an uncommon practice).  So with all that out in the open, lets continue.

Wardrobe:

Wedding Dresses while stunning are insanely priced. Its not a surprise to see folks on Yes to the Dress and other shows spending five figures on a dress. Even the modest wedding dress is going to run 2-3K, and don’t forget a few hundred more for alterations or a veil or other custom accessories. Buying off the rack could save you a little bit of money, but don’t be shocked at the cost here.

This isn’t just a problem for just women either. Men often face similar problems renting tuxedos, and speaking from experience, many established Tuxedo rental companies like Men’s Wearhouse will give you the baggiest suits you’ve ever seen, and pawn them off as tuxedos, even after having your measurements taken. Solutions for men are much easier though. Especially if you are getting married in the summer outdoors, buy suit separates, and have your groomsmen ditch the jackets entirely. Groomsmen can go buy a particular style of slacks and a white button up(which every guy should have). The total cost will be half that of a comparable tuxedo rental, and they likely are stylish enough to know the proper sized attire they need.

The other option, talk to your wedding planner (like Wandering Blooms Events), about if they have any partners in this area who offer specials for tuxedo rentals. Wandering Blooms is proud to partner with Suit Supply in the way of custom tuxedos and suits. Additionally, they have a referral program Generation Tux for 20% off, which provides grooms and groomsmen a better overall price without compromising on fit. I personally can attest to the product, having used them before.

Food and Beverage:

Food is delicious, and as someone who may have partially married his wife on her cooking skills, I can safely say food can make or break an event. I will talk about a horror story later in this series, but as far as saving on food, it will be a relatively small part of the night, so if you need to scale back to just a chicken option and some veggies, that’s not a bad idea. As far as drinks, while I strongly advise against making friends pay for drinks, limiting the drinks to beer and wine is not only a good way to reduce the overall cost, but if you have friends that love to party, it may keep them from having one too many. Sometimes drink packages will even let you add a signature cocktail if you want a liquor option.

Photo: Elyse Hall Photography

Venue:

While Weddings are best on Saturdays, some venues offer lower prices if you move to a Friday or Sunday. Your friends won’t be particularly thrilled with that decision, especially if they had to travel to be there, but it does result in saving money. If you want to forgo the idea of a venue and have an idea about a space you could use instead, such as a friend’s or a family member’s backyard, that also can be a great way to save money, just be sure to budget in more money for rentals.

Rehearsal:

It’s becoming increasingly more common for people to cancel rehearsal dinners if they are over budget, and instead, use the opportunity to have a last hoorah as a not married couple with friends and family at your local bar. Just make sure that if you do this that everyone is still prepared for the roles and responsibilities they will have as your bridesmaids, groomsmen, and any other roles. You can opt to use this space to practice as well and your planner can help you with getting everyone ready during this time. No longer is it a necessity to have the rehearsal at the ceremony space.

Stuff I May Have Missed:

A few last items, send offs do need to be fun and exciting. Whether its sparklers, bubbles, or in our case, custom 12th man towels(Gig’em Aggies), make sure you send your guests off with a cool party favor to remember the occasion. Don’t forget that you will need some sort of ride out of there, whether it’s a vintage sports car, or just an Uber, have an exit strategy, and of course don’t drink and drive.

Additionally, make sure you or your family leaves tips for those that helped make the day special. I have a personal motto that you can tell a lot about a person’s character by how they treat the help, and while you won’t see everything that the team has done, know that planning any event is an undertaking, and that the services that helped craft your special day are just as much of one. Generally, if a business owner(planner, florist, baker, etc.) has a team, know that the tips almost always go directly to their team, not into their pockets, and if that is a concern, be sure to hand the tips directly to your planner for them to disperse out to vendors.

Photo: Elyse Hall Photography

Next post I am going to spend some time talking about where you definitely, 100% DO NOT cheap out. These are important, because while you may not remember it, your guests will, and it can take a great wedding that your guests will enjoy into a horror story that stays with you until the end of time.

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